The Italian private-equity owner of Ducati is looking to sell the motorbike brand for up to $1.32 billion, three times its initial investment, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
Investindustrial, which is backed by the Bonomi family, had sounded out a Hong Kong public listing for Ducati in 2011 but a sale to a rival or large car group was more likely now, the FT said.
Thee sale could happen over the next one year as Ducati needs cash to fund future growth.
People close to the situation told the paper that possible buyers could include Indian motorcycle group Mahindra, as well as Volkswagen and BMW. AFP
People close to the situation told the paper that possible buyers could include Indian motorcycle group Mahindra, as well as Volkswagen and BMW.
With Mahindra and Mahindra looking to become a major global player, the foreign buyout looks like a lucrative option. Moreover, if the firm does acquire the Italian motorcycle maker, its subsidiary Mahindra 2 Wheelers is likely to benefit the most.
Last year Mahindra and Mahindra acquired South Korean sports utility vehicle manufacturer Ssangyong and is also said to have signed a confidentiality agreement with Saab and is expected to finalise a bid very soon.
“Ducati is now a perfect company but the further growth it requires needs the support of a world-class industrial partner,” Investindustrial’s chairman Andrea Bonomi told the paper.
“This year, we will work towards that partner.”
In November, Ducati chief executive Gabriele Del Torchio said the motorbike maker had raised its share of the markets where it operates around the world to 10.7 percent, up from 8.5 percent in 2010.
A spokesman for BMW said the motorcycle manufacturer best known for its R 1200 GS Adventure enduro and the S 1000 RR supersports bike was not interested in a purchase of Ducati.
Volkswagen declined to comment. VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech, who said he drives Ducatis himself, admitted a few years ago that he regretted not having acquired the brand back then when Ducati could have been bought “for peanuts.”
Ducati currently sells a range of motorcycles in India including the Ducati Monster, the Ducati Hypermotard, the Ducati 848, the Ducati 1098 and the Ducati Diavel. Ducati sells over 40,000 motorcycles across the globe and has been in existence for over 86 years.